24 June 2013

Big Solid Conditioner

On paper, this conditioner sounds like a Godsend; Sea salt, seaweed infusion, coconut oil, jojoba, and lemon and lime juice to condition and shine; Jasmine, tonka, orris, vetivert and vanilla to smell beautiful all day. However, in reality this conditioner was a let down.

As I've said in previous posts, I've always been a bit hesitant to use Lush's solid shampoos and conditioners, as I've never been fully convinced that a rock-solid block of 'stuff' can be that good for my locks. However, on opening this for the first time, I was surprised to find a slightly softer bar than I was expecting; it is definitely softer and creamier to touch than Lush's other hair care bars - much like a block of butter that's been frozen and then left to defrost for a few hours.

It also smells divine; it has a very fresh and clean scent, with little florally undertones that stay on your hair for hours after use. 

The Big Solid Conditioner is a fairly new product designed to work alongside their Big Shampoo and it’s meant to condition your hair and to make it look extra shiny. As I didn't have any Big at the time, I opted to use it alongside my favourite, Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo

The first time I used it I took the whole piece of Big Solid Conditioner in my hands and I started to massage it into my hair, much like they recommend you do on the website. What I found straight away was that the bar was rather harsh on my hair, and I ended up with hair all over my piece of Big and a head that didn't feel very conditioned at all.  

The second time I used Big, I massaged the bar between my warm hands and spread the creamy foam throughout my hair. What I found however, was that it was difficult to get the bar to produce much lather at all. 

Whatever I did, I wasn't able to apply the conditioner throughout my hair. I always felt like I had patches of conditioner in places and some areas where there was none at all. And because the conditioner doesn't lather up, it's almost impossible to ensure you've covered your whole head. 

Another thing that I didn’t really like is that it didn’t feel as if I had conditioner on my hair. When I use Veganese, I can feel the conditioner doing it's job and when I wash it out, my hair feels silky soft and nourished. With Big, it doesn't feel as if I've conditioned my hair at all; my hair feels dry and damaged, and both times I used it, I found bits of the conditioner had remained in my hair after it had dried. When dry, my hair felt brittle and frizzy.

Maybe this conditioner just isn't designed for my hair type, or maybe me and solid conditioners just don't get on. Either way, I was left really disappointed with this product, and it's something I will not be buying again. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Fine Sea Salt, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, Lemon Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Toothed Wrack Seaweed Infusion, Fresh Lime, Organic Jojoba Oil, Perfume, Cetrimonium Bromide, Vetivert Oil, Jasmine Absolute, Bergamot Oil, Candelilla Wax, *Titanium Dioxide, Methyl Lonone, Geraniol, *Linalool, *Coumarin, *Limonene.

Vegan?: Yes


  1. That's such a bummer! I haven't tried it yet- asked for a sample once but they didn't have enough to cut (the only time I couldn't get a sample, gasp! Lol). But to hear it being that rough, yikes! I've heard people pulling off small pieces and rubbing that in their hands with water (kinda like Herbalism or Angels on Bare Skin) till it became a better consistency to put in their hair, maybe that might work? I definitely won't try this guy now though unless I get a sample. I'm pretty content with American Cream and my Mane n Tail for conditioners, hehe :)

  2. I have tried so hard for Big, as I adore the shampoo and love the scent of the conditioner. However, I just had a terrible time with it. I was thinking, perhaps next time I go into a Lush, I'll get one of the assistants to demonstrate how to use it and see if it yields more positive results :)

  3. I just came by this blog by coincidence, but I've been using Big for a month now, and I absolutely love it, so I'm surprised to read your review! I stopped using traditional shampoo months ago, and wash my hair with ghassoul instead.
    The sales assistant where I bought Big said, that some people use it as a leave-in conditioner - I first tried this a couple of weeks ago, and my hair has never looked or felt better. I have thick, curly hair, so I've been testing quite a few products.

    I usually comb through my hair as good as I can after I've shampoo'ed, because otherwise - as you say - a lot of hair will end up on the bar. I rub the bar between moist palms, and it forms a kind of creamy lather. I leave it in the hair while I wash my body, shave legs, etc. and then wash it out. After my hair has dried a bit, I apply it again, as a sort of curl-cream leave-in, along with a tiny bit of texturizer.

    If any fellow curlies read this, I hope you'll give it a try!

    1. I'm so glad you've had success with this conditioner - I'm guessing perhaps I'm in the minority when it comes to disliking this product. Going by all of the positive experiences that people have had with it, I might try it again, this time taking on all the comments I read about how to use it. Thanks for the advice :)

  4. I don't know why but I've had so much success with this conditioner. I first got it as a sample and so I bought the full size but I haven't tried the full thing yet. The sample worked wonders and it's the only vegan conditioner from Lush that will work on my thick hair. It does melt quickly but otherwise I've had no issues.

  5. I'm on the fence about the Big conditioner. I love Big shampoo, even though the salt threw me for a loop the first time I used it. But I have a friend who would be a good candidate for a Lushies Anonymous group, and she told me how she uses it, and it worked.

    What I do is cut a small-ish piece off of the block which I left next to the sink in my bathroom. When I was ready to use the piece, I worked it in my hand with warm water until it was the consistency of a more traditional conditioner. Then I worked it through my hair. It did not feel great in my hair, and the first time I used it I thought to myself that this can't possibly be doing good things. I did find the occasional bit of waxy stuff or very large chunk of salt that made rinsing it out more of a chore, but after the work it took to get it in my hair I figured that was about par for the course. Even after rinsing, my hair felt like it hadn't been conditioned at all.

    My biggest results were after my hair had dried completely. It was soft and touchable and smelled wonderful.

    However, even the smallest chunk I could get them to cut from the whole cost me about $13US because they didn't give samples. After the amount of sheer work it took to get the stuff to be useable and then to get it out of my hair, I won't be buying it again. I much prefer American Cream as a conditioner, or I go without a conditioner and use R&B as an after-shower leave-in. I get the same results, but with much less work. I've had R&B for about a month and it will probably last me all the way through Christmas and possibly beyond.

    I wanted so much to like this conditioner, but for the price and the work it wasn't worth it.

    1. I am very much the same - I love the smell of this stuff and would love to use it with Big Shampoo, which is one of my favourite hair care products from Lush. However, I find it far too much effort trying to get what I need from it in order to condition my hair. I am definitely a Veganese fan through and through, although I would really appreciate if Lush would bring out some new conditioners for us to try.

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  7. Oops, I forgot some points and wanted to edit, but didn't have that option so I deleted it. Anyway, I rewrote it again.

    1. No, I love this conditioner! First off, it just smells delicious! I always have to take a big wiff of this everytime I'm in the shower, even when I'm not washing my hair that time (I feel the exact same way with their Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar. I love the rose jam scent!). Second, it is more of a natural conditioner (if you're a low-pooer like me). I love the ingredients in the bar, all very good for the hair. Although, the sea salt I'd imagine it to be somewhat drying, which will bring me to my next point. Third, although the sea salt can be somewhat worrisome, omg, it brings so much volume to my hair! Plus, the coconut oil and it being the top ingredient, will counteract the dehydrating salt and throughly moisturize the strands. And lastly, yes it conditions the hair care well! Because it is a handmade conditioner, it doesn't have the unnecessary silicones in it that give the smooth feeling to the hair. It feels like, we'll like you're putting nothing to the hair. But believe me, it's doing something. Because when your hair dries, it smells so good and is so soft! It's not heavy at all. You're left with big soft hair! Now, with all that said, how I use it in the shower is like this:
      When I buy a bar, I cut it up into little cubes. I buy about a 100g and I'm left with about 27 cubes (that's gonna be for 27 washes. And I only wash my hair once a week, this is gonna last me several months!). I take a cube and with some water, I rub it until it becomes more like a liquid, then apply. I take my hands covered in the conditioner and squish the product into my hair between my palms. My heads usually upside-down at the point, or I collect my hair to one side. A cube is enough for my waist-length hair. Made you, I just apply the conditioner to my ends (hair from shoulder-length down) and whatever is left on my hands, I wipe through on the crown hair. So, I keep them in an airtight container in the shower and take a cube out everytime. This saves the bar and thus saves money. So, please don't be discouraged by it not feeling "moisturizing" in the shower. It's still doing the job well done!

  8. Has anyone been able to duplicate the fragrance of big solid by blending essential oils? If so, please post your recipe.